Letter from the Editor December 2011

Jenna Hammond

Inspired to get certified thanks an inclusive yoga studio founder who has penned two articles for PARENTGUIDE News, I used to instruct children’s yoga classes on Sundays in New York City. Bright, skilled and generally articulate, the children who frequented the studio never ceased to amaze me. Most intriguing of all was a stoic yet obedient 2 year old who was proficient at remembering the poses from session to session. The catch was, this adorable child never spoke.

Figuring she was still acquiring the ability to talk, I beamed with pride when the girl uttered what seemed to be her first word. “Ball,” she hesitated as I was cleaning up from the prior class. “Soccer ball.” Two related phrases comprised of four syllables. I couldn’t believe it! When I informed the girl’s mother at the end of class, she was apathetic. “My daughter speaks all the time with my family,” mom told me. “She’s chatty, chatty, chatty until we leave the house. In fact, if I need quiet time I just whisk my daughter outdoors, because I know she’s too shy to talk outside her comfort zone.”

Read up on why kids may be animated in certain settings and silent in others by turning to “Selective Mutism.” Written by Marian B. Moldan, LCSW-R, the article addresses how anxiety can spur children who are talkative among family members to clam up in public situations. If you think your child might be susceptible, you’ll especially want to get schooled on the issue, which can prevent kids from making friends, participating in classroom activities, even asking to go to the bathroom.

Speaking of getting schooled, the Programs portion of our coveted Education Directory kicks off this month. Get the scoop on some of the best local activities and resources for your kids and stay tuned for the complete directory that features leading schools as well as extracurriculars in January. If kids’ yoga strikes your fancy, too, you’ll find that in the mix this month and next.

Not to skip ahead, of course, because then we’d be neglecting the happiest time of year— the December holidays. Get your festive fill by flipping to our annual gift guides. Two pages showcasing plush friends, aquatic toys, gadgets, creative playthings, educational entertainment and other exciting gift options, “Spreading Smiles” makes finding the perfect present for every tyke, naughty or nice, a cinch. A great companion piece, “Gifts Galore” features home decor, culinary delights, leather keepsakes and items that do everything from offer visual stimulation to relaxation for parents. And while the adult gift guide helps you choose presents for loved ones and co-workers, you’re sure to see something that you desire. Perhaps leave the article open on your counter top along with some cookies to entice Santa or Hanukkah Harry to remember you this season. For ideas on where to get inviting confections, including delightful kosher cookies and sinful candy-filled treats, “Gifts Galore” also has you covered.

Bah! Humbug! You’re watching your waistline and don’t want to have sweets around this time of year? Though the adult gift guide additionally spotlights pajamas that look mouth watering without threatening your diet, you can pick up tactics for satisfying your sweet tooth in a nutritional way in the “Healthy Holidays” article. Turn to the service piece by our cooking blogger Rena Unger to discover pointers to feel satisfied with optimum nutrition in this month of indulgence. Follow up Unger’s five servings of tips with the three yummy recipes she shares: Raw Kale with Warm Coconut Curry Dressing, Garlicky Collard Greens and Peppermint Snowballs. Ah, there are some festive dishes to bring to the office potluck that won’t pack on the pounds. However, should you opt to whip the decadent delicacies under Desserts in the Recipes & Family Mealtime section on parentguidenews.com, I say live it up!

Happy holidays and enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond